British Pensioner Faces 350 Lashes in Saudi Arabia

A British pensioner is facing 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia as punishment for possessing alcohol, Sky News reports.

Karl Andree, 74, has already served more than a year in a Saudi jail after the country's religious police found home-made wine in his car after he was stopped in the port city of Jeddah in August 2014. He was originally sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and flogging by a Sharia court.

Andree has lived in Saudi Arabia for the past 25 years, where he worked as an oil executive. His son Simon, 33, told Sky News that the family fears that the grandfather-of-seven would not survive if he was forced to face his punishment.

"He's an old, frail man," said Simon. "The lashings will kill him. He will keel over and have a heart attack." Simon also called on the U.K. government to intervene in the case.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told Sky News that British embassy staff are assisting Andree, who is reportedly being held in Briman prison in Jeddah. "Ministers and senior officials have raised Mr Andree's case with the Saudi government and we are actively seeking his release as soon as possible," the spokesperson said.

The Foreign Office's travel guidance for Saudi Arabia warns that "penalties for the possession of, or trade in alcohol are severe. Both result in prison sentences. Do not arrive in Saudi Arabia under the influence of alcohol."

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